Saturday, December 30, 2017

Same-Day Eggnog Dex#

I really love a glass of eggnog around the holidays. It's a bit fussy cooking up a custard, and worst of all, it takes hours to cool. Grabbing a bottle from the grocery is so much easier and faster! Except, it has all that sugar in it. If only I could make eggnog at home, and drink it right away; then it would be easier than driving to the store.

Well, I've found a way, and it makes us happy. :) It's also Dex#, my term for when the carb to fiber ratio is 5:1, like what it is in blueberries. For Dex#, all the non-fiber carbs count, where as for Dex+ I only look at the fructose to fiber ratio. But enough of that, on to what makes the recipe work!

There are a few special things to consider here: 

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Spriggan Soda (Lemon-Lime)

You can make a really good lemon-lime using, no surprise, lemons and limes. However, lemons and limes vary in size and cost, they spoil, and also take a bit of work to cut and squeeze. The easier and more consistent way is to use lemon and lime oils for the flavor, and a blend of citric and malic acids for the sourness.

I've been using Boyajian oils, which you can get in a set of three, orange, lemon, and lime. They can also be used in place of citrus zest, 1/4 tsp or 24 drops per 3 tsp zest; really handy. The emulsifiers (gum Arabic and xanthan gum) in the syrup allow the oils to blend in, rather than pooling on top.

Acidity is a huge part of the flavor of citrus, and of soda. You can try only using the citric acid, but using the malic also makes this more like real citrus fruit. Malic acid is the sour in lots of super-sour candy. It's also the main acid in apples.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Home-Made Soda: The Syrup, Dex#

I'm revisiting Soda Syrup, for a couple of reasons. The lemon-lime I had come up with was tasty, but it was too much work to make a glass. The syrup was very thick, and hard to stir in. Cutting, squeezing, and crushing the lemons and limes was a hassle. We stopped making it, and after a while, diet drinks started showing up at home.

This new and improved syrup:
  • Is thinner due to not using corn syrup.
  • Contains some stevia, a natural sweetener that, best I can tell, has no bad effects on health.
  • Has emulsifiers (I will spare you all the details on experiments), which allow use of oils for flavoring, and also gives a nice foam like store-bought cokes.

Home-Made Soda: Let's talk Fizzzzz

I've been playing with carbonated beverages lately, because who wouldn't like to know how to make their own Coke; am I right? Cola, as it turns out, is quite a challenge, and I'm still working on that one. However, fruity flavored sodas are delicious in so many varieties it's hard to make a bad one. Well, as long as the sweet/acid/flavor ratio is good. After that, it's up to you as to what flavors you like. So many flavors!

This is my newest creation: Rudolph's Elixir. For Rudolph's Tipsy Elixir, add vodka.
What you need for any soda is: syrup, emulsifiers, flavors, acids, and carbonated water. Let's talk carbonation first; syrups and flavors in a future post.